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Defense Rests in James Holmes' Aurora Theater Shooting Trial

The defense has wrapped up its case in the Aurora theater shooting trial of James Homes. The jury will decide whether he was insane at the time of his killing rampage.

After playing jurors a video of the defendant naked and running head-long into a cell wall, and another of him thrashing around in restraints at a hospital, the defense rested.

The prosecution said it would not present any rebuttal case. Attorneys from both sides will make closing arguments on Tuesday

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Three Jurors Dismissed From James Holmes Trial

Three jurors were dismissed today from the Aurora Theater shooting trial of James Holmes. One juror (juror 872) had told other jurors about media accounts of a mistrial request that had been denied. On another occasion she told them about information she received from her husband that one of the lawyers in the case (who was chief prosecutor George Brauchler) got in trouble with the court for tweeting about the case from the courtroom. Her husband told her that @GeorgeBrauchler had tweeted about the trial from the courtroom and he called him an "idiot." On one occasion, she had her husband on speakerphone in the presence of up to four other jurors.

The judge said, "This isn't' a one word type of thing. These were multiple comments."

There are four women jurors who hang out together on breaks on the patio where they can smoke cigarettes. The fifth juror sometimes went out to the patio. [More...]

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3,500 Jurors May Be Called for James Holmes Case

The judge in the Aurora Theater shooting case of James Holmes wrote in an order yesterday that 3,500 prospective jurors may be called for his trial. The order, which grants the defense request for a questionnaire to be submitted to jurors in advance of trial, is here.

He noted that the Prosecution had not yet responded to the request, but even if they did and opposed it, he'd use a questionnaire anyway. [More...]

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The Cost of James Holmes Death Penalty Prosecution

Interesting segment last night on Fox News 31 (Denver) on the cost to taxpayers of prosecuting Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes as a death penalty case. It explains the cost is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars. It brings up the Nathan Dunlap case, brought by the same office. Dunlap was recently scheduled for execution in August and a petition for clemency is pending. The cost of his case so far: $18 million.

It also points out that the D.A. turned down Holmes' offer to plead guilty and accept life without parole. I kept waiting for some former DA to come on and attempt to justify the decision to seek the death penalty. It didn't happen. Maybe they couldn't find anyone to take the other side.

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James Holmes Wants to Change Plea to Not Guilty (Insanity)

Lawyers for Aurora theater shooting defendant James Holmes notified the Court today Holmes wants to change his plea from Not Guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.

On March 12, the date set for arraignment, Holmes' lawyers refused to enter a plea for him, so the Judge entered a plea of Not Guilty over their objections.

In an order today, the Judge indicates it's not for certain he'll allow the change of plea. The statute says an insanity plea must be raised at the arraignment. However, it also says that for good cause shown, an insanity plea can be entered at any time prior to trial. [More...]

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